Shawarma platter at Amigos, Gogjibagh
Shawarma platter at Amigos, Gogjibagh

 

One of the first signs of a city becoming a metropolis, is when you find restaurants that start to replicate global gastronomy. American fast food items such as Pizzas, burgers and fries are poster items for globalization, which is why these amateur eateries may or may not put as much emphasis on taste, as they do on making fast food items available.

Srinagar is one such city where so many budding restaurateurs have a crack at creating a family fast food joint. Some succeed, many fail. While we were on the trail for finding a restaurant that is appreciated by Kashmiris for their food, and for being a reliable name synonymous with a family restaurant, ‘Amigos’ is a name that has almost become a benchmark for success in Srinagar based restaurants. And for a first time patron like me, it wasn’t exactly hard to figure out why the restaurant is doing so well.

As you enter Amigos, you come into a place with a really striking décor, the likes of which belonging in a grand, high budgeted Bollywood movie. Sparkling silverware, severs dressed in crisp clothes and plush, extremely high end furniture. As we were sat at our tables, I glanced at the menu to try to get a better sense of the restaurant. My eyes were immediately allured to their middle eastern section, and without skipping a beat, I asked for their shawarma platter. The waiter recommended a mint mojito to accompany my meal, and I happily agreed.

Virgin Mint Mojito
Virgin Mint Mojito

The wait for the food was as ideal as any patron would enjoy, with the beverage coming out almost instantly, and the food following shortly after. The mint mojito was alarmingly green, something I always fear to be a sign of artificial coloring, but with my first sip, all my apprehensions were washed away with the refreshing taste of ice cold soda and lime juice, a perfect relief for a hot, scorching day in Srinagar. I’d highly recommend this drink to all first time visitors to Amigos. Soon after, the shawarma platter arrived, looking absolutely grand.

Now the presence of the bell pepper didn’t really make much sense. It didn’t work either as an accompaniment to the meal, or the presentation of the dish. Perhaps if the shreds were dripped with some kind of vinaigrette, I’d be happy for them to be there. But do not let this take away anything from the extraordinarily wonderful shawarmas. Everything about them was perfect, in the way the bread and meat was cooked, to how effortlessly one’s teeth had to work to bite into Lebanese delight, and how the sauces continued to work their magic and linger, even after you’d swallowed your morsel.

Three individual shawarmas, covered in zesty sauces. Served in the platter are also a sizeable portion of French fries, and shredded bell pepper. Now the presence of the bell pepper didn’t really make much sense. It didn’t work either as an accompaniment to the meal, or the presentation of the dish. Perhaps if the shreds were dripped with some kind of vinaigrette, I’d be happy for them to be there. But do not let this take away anything from the extraordinarily wonderful shawarmas.

Amegos is situated in Gogji Bagh
Amegos is situated in Gogji Bagh

Everything about them was perfect, in the way the bread and meat was cooked, to how effortlessly one’s teeth had to work to bite into Lebanese delight, and how the sauces continued to work their magic and linger, even after you’d swallowed your morsel. The also served a portion of hummus as an accompaniment to the meal, which tasted as perfect as hummus should be. Sat atop of the hummus was one solemn olive, and ideally, since I ordered a platter, they restaurant owners could consider serving a healthier portion, so it would match perfectly with the three portions of shawarma as part of the platter.

But having said that, for any of you looking for great food, in a family setting in the city Amigo’s is a delightful restaurant. Yes, it is a little heavy on the wallet, but for the quality of food, service and grand set up of the restaurant, every item served at Amigos is more than deserving of it’s price tag. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for an evening of delicious indulgence.

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SOURCE: Jugal Bhinde

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